Highlights for February
▪ IHEC further extends period for submission of candidacies and the registration of political coalitions.
▪ Biometric registration coverage reaches 62%, voter registration update continues until 31 March.
▪ IHEC organizes dialogue with representatives of political parties and alliances to intensify engagement with electoral stakeholders.
▪ Concept of operation being prepared for out of country voting (OCV) process.
▪ Discussions ongoing on the need for a fresh look at the electoral complaint adjudication process.
▪ Polling procedures and regulation up for review and finalization; MPs raise concerns about distribution of polling centers impacting on access and turnout of voters.
▪ UN electoral teams now deployed at all UNAMI regional hubs.
Candidates and Coalition Registration
On 25 February, IHEC decided to extend for the second time the period for the submission of candidacies and the registration of political coalition. The new deadlines are 17 April for candidate nomination and 1 May for the registration of political coalitions. They were previously set for 27 February and 1 March respectively.
The decision was taken during the IHEC Board of Commissioners meeting, in which UNAMI provided advice on the timeline for the finalization of candidate lists and the design and printing of ballot papers.
In deciding to extend, IHEC also took note of the low rate of candidate registration to date.
As of 25 February, only 86 candidates had submitted their nomination papers to IHEC. Of these, only 12 are women candidates. There are 3 candidates seeking to contest the Yazidi reserved seat, 1 for the Fayli Kurds and 1 for the Sabian Mandean component. Also, of the total candidacies submitted so far, only 3 have indicated their political party or coalition affiliations. The rest are independent candidates.